You would think that by now, the Miami Dolphins would have learned a lesson from years of throwing money away. They have not. Vic Fangio is the latest lesson Miami will learn nothing from.
We don't know who exactly was the voice behind the hiring of Vic Fangio last year. Was the youthful first-year coach Mike McDaniel pounding tables for a guy that he looked up to and respected or was this more of a group effort that included Chris Grier, Stephen Ross, and anyone else in the building?
We do know two things that are factual. One, the Dolphins made Fangio the highest-paid defensive coordinator in the NFL. No big deal, not our money. Two, Vic Fangio didn't want the Miami Dolphins job. Not initially.
The writing was on the wall for a marriage between Fangio and the Eagles. So this no suprise.
After taking a year off from the game, Fangio joined the Eagles during the lead-up to their Super Bowl last year against the Chiefs. He was a consultant. When the season ended it was presumed that if he wanted back in, the Eagles would have made him their DC.
There were a few issues that steered Fangio away from the Eagles after the Super Bowl. Former Eagles DC Jonathan Gannon told the media he was staying with the Eagles. That led Fangio to take the offer from the Dolphins. If you recall, the Fangio/Miami train took a couple of weeks to leave the proverbial station.
After Gannon made his announcement, Fangio accepted the Dolphins' offer. After the Super Bowl, Gannon left the Eagles to take the Cardinal HC job. Fangio was stuck with Miami and he did tell the media that had Gannon not opened his mouth about staying in Philly, there was a good chance he would have taken that job.
Fast forward to 2024 and here we are. Vic Fangio leaving Miami for Philly.
The fact Fangio is leaving isn't a big deal. He is from that area and it places him nearer his family. That isn't the problem. The problem dates back to last year when the Miami Dolphins, needing a DC, wanting a top DC like Vic Fangio, threw money at him to convince him to come to Miami.
If you can't recall, this is similar to Bill Parcells who nearly worked for the Falcons but Wayne Huizenga wouldn't take no for an answer. This goes back to Nick Saban not wanting to come to the NFL until Huinzenga through incredible money at him.
After Stephen Ross bought the team, he too threw money at Parcells to convince him to stay with the Dolphins despite wanting to leave. That seems to be a theme with Dolphins ownership. Throw money at the guy telling you no until he tells you yes.
With Fangio, he didn't want to be with the Dolphins and when it started to drag out, the Dolphins should have backed off and gone in a different direction. Fangio wasn't a bad coach for the Dolphins. His defense was good considering all the injuries. The problem was Miami, once again, couldn't see the forest through the trees and that forest was Fangio, like Saban and like Parcells, wasn't going to stick around no matter how much you paid them.
Now, here we are again. Searching for a new DC because the guy they hired didn't want to be here. I look back at Patrick Graham coming to Miami with Brian Flores but leaving a year later because he didn't want to be in Miami.
The Dolphins have a problem listening to their inner voices, at least the little angel that is telling them no on one shoulder while the little devil on the other is waving more money.
Teams are not successful because they continue to turn over players and coaches. They are successful because they get people in a position that want to be in that position. They have people that put the team above personal agendas and gain. Money doesn't buy them, define them, or convince them. The money is earned and rewarded. In Miami, they haven't figured that out yet and I doubt Fangio will teach them anything either.